In reading the "Letters," under the wholly ridiculous heading "Hey, Dudes," the question is posed: Why the name Eldr? The answer, almost as stupefying as the moniker: "It connotes respect." In 15th-century China, maybe. But the U.S.? Sadly, there's not a media buyer or network exec alive that aggressively courts the elder market. And by elder, I mean anyone over 34. Also, the "R" stands for revolution.
Really? Let's consider the Leisure Care ad opposite the "Letters" page, which touts the freedom that retirement buys. Judging from the photo -- an elderly man in a car and the smiling blonde, easily half his age beside him -- we can conclude that "freedom" is code for "trophy wife." And if that's the case, let her drive. Here is a cause worth supporting: road safety. Or in Eldr speak: Rd Sfy.
Still, I'm all for seniors pretending to be Peter Finch in "Network." Aging is tough. The health care system is broken, and drug prices are soaring. The golden years should be just that. So get mad! It keeps the blood flowing. Then, join AARP. There is much to be said for organized protest. And according to my mother, the magazine is great, too.
In fact, I'm guessing that Eldr has noticed AARP's reach and hopes to grab a piece of the lucrative pie. To that end, it offers features on health, technology, law and exercise.
But among the more astonishing stories here is the profile of Jack and Elaine LaLanne, fitness gurus. He's 92, she's 81, and they put us all to shame. LaLanne invented many of the exercise machines we use today, and says he "works out eight days a week." I count seven, but why get technical? The man's a marvel. According to Eldr, when he was 65, he towed 65 boats filled with 6,500 pounds of wood pulp. And Houdini-like, Jumpin' Jack was handcuffed and shackled. Sounds kinky, but it's the YouTube age; I'd like to see the video.
On the practical front, the "Chat" section offers useful short news items -- briefs on everything from the importance of Vitamin K to the enhanced external counterpulsation (EECP), a simple pumping machine clinically proven as effective as bypass surgery and stents. Also, the story on athletes who train for the Senior Olympics is inspiring, while the piece on Alzheimer's is helpful, especially the sites that encourage brain calisthenics.
But what's repeatedly stressed is the need for exercise, particularly weight-bearing exercises, as the No. 1 weapon in keeping fit and flexible. And yoga can help.
Yes, there comes that inevitable time when you don't get up or down without sound effects; in my family, it's usually accompanied by a short, piercing "oy." "Yoga Solutions for Healthy Aging" suggests putting your legs up against the wall, a gentle inverted pose that increases circulation to the chest and heart. Hey, even I'm willing to give it a go -- because like millions of Americans, my idea of stretching is reaching for the remote.
On balance, Eldr has good, practical advice. But I'd make the print a bit bigger in parts, given its older demo. Mostly, I'd nix Dr. Nadar Shabahangi, billed as the "Eldr Philosopher." He says we are all interconnected, and the future is uncertain. Mr. Spock said the same thing on Star Trek, but he didn't insult us with platitudes, a la Dr. S, who asks: Do we want to spend extra time working for retirement or take the kids to a ballgame?
It's this kind of supercilious talk that ages me. Rapidly. Maybe Jack LaLanne can tow the good doctor out to sea. The rest of Eldr's readers can grab some weights and, with luck, realize the Trekkie dream: live long and prosper.
Publisher: Eldr Media